View Full Version : Flying, Ficcares, and security

June 12th, 2005, 09:21 AM
I've searched for airports and flying and found several threads: and

I'm flying to meet Lisajaney this week and cannot decide what to take and what to not take. Airport security seems to have changed a bit and I need some input.

I'm thinking about leaving my Ficcares at home, but taking my Haute Couture clip with me (maybe wearing it) on the plane. Does "horn" (as in horn combs or sticks) set off the metal detector? why/how?

It seems security now goes through EVERY suitcase that gets put on the plane. The last time I flew was from Austin to Corpus Christi (or back from CC) they did this. I know in CC they wiped down the zipper and handle of my suit case and then opened it, with me present. I can't remember, am I then allowed to lock the suit case? Was this only the CC airport?

I want to check a Ficcare Maximas (those teeth could eat a human being you know <sarcastic tone> ) and a few other items, but I don't want them confiscated or stolen.

Also, how does this self-addressed-stamped-envelope work? If I have it all ready to go (if they want to take up my Haute Couture), will THEY mail it for me or do I have to run to find a mail box to mail it in before going through security?

I feel like a dunce.

Thanks for any input.

June 12th, 2005, 09:38 AM
Here's the official TSA list ( of what you can and can't take in carry-on and checked baggage. You can put scissors and such in your checked baggage, so I don't see why Ficcares would be a problem.

I've traveled recently with hairsticks (including metal ones), Ficcares, knitting needles, and a knife (Leatherman, actually) in my checked bags, and there was no problem. They did open up my checked bag once, but only the one with the knitting needles in it, not the one with hair toys. Guess they thought the knitting needles were something nefarious. :wink:

June 12th, 2005, 09:41 AM
I always bring the SASE, with a printed list (highlighted) of what the item falls under :) or I highlight things that are similar but included on the "allowed" list. That way they can't argue!


ETA: can't wait to see ya!

June 12th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Horn is no more likely to set off detectors than plastic.

June 12th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Teacherbear, airport security personell are dunces!! that fact aside, I hope you figure this out! It would be horrible to have a hairtoy confiscated.
Airports have a rule about matches though which is quite silly. It's something like "only 3 packs of matches allowed onboard". hmm. The security in airports can be quite descriminatory, also. It's for good reasons, but eek!!
Anywhoo, good luck and have a blast on your trip!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 12th, 2005, 12:56 PM
Don't forget that not all airports have the same security measures. Most of them, especially in the US, have much stricter ones, but different areas differ. Like I said on an earlier post, my husband had to throw away his personal kit that was in his carry on because it had small scissors in it. Lighters are also confiscated. Anything with sharp edges and that can be considered a weapon is usually not permitted, and I am pretty sure this includes hairsticks.

I would really strongly advise that you put any hairsticks you value in your luggage and NOT in your carry-on, and I wouldn't wear them on the plane either. It's not worth losing them if you get a gung-ho inspector. Especially if you are selected at random (as my British friends just were at the Columbus airport) for inspection, in which they go through EVERYTHING.

June 12th, 2005, 03:07 PM
I flew from PHX to Chicago O'hare recently and had no problems as far as hair toys are concerned. Of course I didn't have any ficcare in the suitcase but I did have several hairsticks...including the metal ones. They did check my suitcase and as far as I know, you aren't allowed to lock it when they're done for security reasons. But I had no problems!

June 12th, 2005, 03:18 PM
They did check my suitcase and as far as I know, you aren't allowed to lock it when they're done for security reasons. But I had no problems!

I thought so, too, but apparently they now have a list of TSA-approved locks. (I saw this on the TSA website.) Apparently they're locks where the TSA has a master key, so the security staff can open the locks instead of cutting them open.

June 12th, 2005, 04:16 PM
I'm flying to California next week and was wondering what hair things to bring as well. Thanks DBF for that TSA link. I REALLY want to take my Amish hair pins but I think that may cause some problems.

June 12th, 2005, 04:18 PM
I know exactly how you can get around all this....
Just mail all your hairtoys to me and I'll give them to you when you get here. :rockerdud Great idea, huh?? :wannabe:

June 12th, 2005, 04:24 PM
I've traveled quite a bit over the past few years, and it's very clear that different airports have different procedures. As an easy example, although TSA clearly says on its web page that removal of shoes is not required before going through the metal detector, there are some airports that are well known by frequent travelers for insisting that all passengers remove their shoes or go to mandatory secondary screening (which is why I travel with ballet-type slippers easily available in my laptop bag).

As for securing your suitcase, that varies widely on the airport and its physical security configuration. Many airports do not allow you to be present when your luggage is searched, and thus, you have no opportunity to lock your luggage after the security process. If your suitcases have zippers with zipper pulls, then using a loosely secured cable tie or a wired twisty tie (like from regular, non zip-lock-style baggies or garbage bags) to secure the two zipper pulls together works well and is usually replaced by TSA if they take them off.

I've gone through airport security many times with wooden haircombs and hairsticks in my pocket without problems, but I would be cautious about traveling with anything that looks sharp and pointy in a carryon if I were fond of it at all. Although TSA has a list of items that are expressly permitted, individual screeners have the ability to decide that items on the permitted list may NOT pass through their security checkpoints (and they do decide that) and individual screeners can decide whichever way they feel appropriate for items that aren't on the list. (Now you know why I said I have gone through security with wooden hair combs and hairsticks in my *pocket*, not in my hair or in my carry-on.)

Carrying self-addressed, stamped envelopes is primarily useful for items that you have with you as you go through security, in case you're carrying something the TSA representatives decide not to permit into the security-cleared area. In general, if they decide you can't take something with you, they will dispose of it for you, or you can leave, find a mailbox, and mail it yourself before going to security a second time. A few airports now have businesses set up nearby to handle this for you, but many do not.

I wouldn't think you'd have any problems traveling with Ficcares in checked baggage. The only things I've heard of being officially removed from checked baggage were clearly not allowed in checked baggage (e.g., torch cigarette lighters (even empty ones), and now regular cigarette lighters, or strike-anywhere matches). TSA allows chefs to travel with their knives in their checked baggage, so I would think just about any type of hair toy would safely make it through the screening process in checked luggage.

June 12th, 2005, 10:53 PM
I know exactly how you can get around all this....
Just mail all your hairtoys to me and I'll give them to you when you get here. :rockerdud Great idea, huh?? :wannabe:
Hmmm not sure I'd trust that plan :wink: :silly: :rollin:

June 12th, 2005, 11:59 PM
T-bear, I had NO PROBLEMS when I flew back to the states this past May and I had all my sticks in my carry-on including a metal pair. I really wouldn't worry about it, tbh. Yes there are some crazy inspectors (including the ones at the Dublin airport yesterday who had me take my hair down to look at my sticks because they'd never seen metal ones before), but most of the time they're under time pressure and if you're polite won't confiscate anything.

That's my experience anyway. Have a fantastic trip and take lots of pics!

June 13th, 2005, 01:39 AM
I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas just last month. We flew out of Tampa, stopped in Dallas, and then on to LV. On the way home, we flew out of LV, stopped in St. Louis, and then back to Tampa.

I had two Ficcares in my suitcase and didn't have any problems. Before leaving I followed the official TSA list (that dancingbarefoot posted above) and knew exactly what I could pack and where. I was actually surprised to find that we are allowed to carry on a lot more than I thought.... and almost everything can get packed. I even carried on a bottle of aerosol hairspray without any problems. The thing that they really seems to be strict about is lighterfluid, matches, etc...

As far as inspecting the bags, as far as I know it's still random inspections (if they inspect/open your bag, they stick a little TSA card inside); however, all bags get swiped for explosive residue, etc... and they will place a little shiny sticker on the outside. Nobody inspected our bags in front of us though, they were given to the TSA folks unlocked and were returned to us unlocked.


June 13th, 2005, 02:10 AM
These questions get asked a lot on knitting lists and such and the basic answer is to check with/call the airlines you are traveling on because sometimes they do things differently, even though there is a standard list. I know some could take knitting needles on the plane, some could not, etc. etc. Just using needles as an example...So even though there is a set list, they sometimes deviate from that list. I honestly don't think Ficcares would make the detector go off, but I rarely fly so haven't tried it.
I'm so excited for you two to meet. Is this the first time? How cool!
Have a great one!

June 13th, 2005, 05:29 AM
I flew four times this weekend wearing my Ficarre or with it in my carry-on. If I was wearing it, it went through the x-ray in the plastic tray along with my camera, bag, glasses, etc., and didn't raise any red flags in the remotest. The Seattle security did strip me of my little dusting scissors, but they were a cheap pair and I was transporting them for purposes of experimentation, anyway. The Las Vegas airport had no trouble with the dusting scissors last week, by the way, but they simply may not have noticed them. (The pilot did, though. I was sitting in the gate area, openly dusting my hair for about two hours. Nobody said a word, not even the pilot, who was standing there watching me casually for a few minutes before doing his plane check.)

So, I flew last week with my Ficarre as well, come to think of it. Again, no problems at all. I would think hair sticks wouldn't be a problem, especially if they were NOT long and metal. Either way, I would think that putting them in checked luggage would be the better way to go.

And take wooden hairsticks. They won't show up on the x-ray.

June 13th, 2005, 10:12 AM
I had a Ficcare in my purse when we went thru the security to go to Myrtle last November and nobody said a word. THey said "You have something suspicious in your purse, Lady" and I said "Oh, crap, that's gotta be my hairclip". It was actually my keys, which had decided to all line up and look like a pocketknife in there. It never occurred to me that they could've confiscated my Ficcare. It was a maximus, though, so I probably would have had to cuss it one last time and let it go. (freakin maximus) ;)

I say mail the things to Notjo and take your chances. Bwahahahahahahahaha! Every time I've flown, I've had Ficcares with me. Usually they're in my checked luggage. Put 'em in a box of tampons and NOBODY'll mess with 'em.

June 13th, 2005, 10:34 AM
I wore my maximus in my hair when I flew back from Germany. No problems. I just took it out and put it in my shoe as it went through the xray machine.

June 13th, 2005, 10:35 AM
LJ you have so many funny tampon stories. The glove compartment one comes to mind...

You sure have gotten a lot of milage out of them! ;)

June 13th, 2005, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the link and the advice, ya'll. I was also wondering if there were people who had flown with (in bag - checked or carryon - OR in hair) a beak Ficcare vs the Maximas. I might try wearing my Haute Couture Maximas and checking one of my "real" Maximas.

Thanks, again, ya'll!

I know exactly how you can get around all this....
Just mail all your hairtoys to me and I'll give them to you when you get here. :rockerdud Great idea, huh?? :wannabe:


Nice try, Notjo! You've been trying to get your little paws on my hair toys for quite awhile now. I'm counting them before we meet and before we depart! :suspect:


June 13th, 2005, 12:49 PM
You know, if one shows up missing the first day, we CAN meet with her again on the last day..... ;)

Lotsa mileage out of tampons, huh? That just doesn't sound right..but it sure sounds like LISA!!! :P

June 13th, 2005, 01:00 PM
I applied for a job with the TSA and passed all the background checks and everything, and now I'm waiting for them to call me back. If they hire me, I'll tell you guys everything I learn! When they were testing me, I examined baggage! That was so cool!

June 13th, 2005, 01:53 PM
I'd also advise packing carefully in checked luggage, or... since you've got some time, why don't you just mail them to LisaJaney?

And please say hi for everyone, including me! You two will have a blast!